Tag: Edward Snowden

When it comes to Edward Snowden, the London Times of 1851 was ahead of the New York Times of 2013

After a summer of media denunciations of Edward Snowden, I thought this comment from Robert Lowe, a 19th century Liberal who opposed the extension of the franchise and other progressive measures, was especially apt. Lowe was a frequent editorialist in the London Times; this is from a piece he wrote in 1851.* The first duty of the press is to obtain the earliest and most correct intelligence of the events of the time, and instantly, by disclosing them, to make them the common property of the nation. The statesman collects his information secretly and by secret means; he keeps back even the current intelligence of the day with ludicrous precautions, until diplomacy is beaten in the race with publicity. The Press […]

Edward Snowden’s Retail Psychoanalysts in the Media

As soon as the Edward Snowden story broke, retail psychoanalysts in the media began to psychologize the whistle-blower, identifying in his actions a tangled pathology of motives. Luckily, there’s been a welcome push-back from other journalists and bloggers. The rush to psychologize people whose politics you dislike, particularly when those people commit acts of violence, has long been a concern of mine.  I wrote about it just after 9/11, when the media put Mohamed Atta on the couch. I also wrote about it in this review of the New Yorker writer Jane Kramer’s Lone Patriot, her profile of the militia movement. In October 1953, literary critic Leslie Fiedler delivered an exceptionally nasty eulogy for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in the pages […]

Snitches and Whistleblowers: Who would you rather be?

Who would you rather be? This guy? Or this guy? The twentieth century was the century of Matusow, Kazan, and other assorted informers, informants, and snitches, behind the Iron Curtain, in Nazi Germany, in Latin America, in the United States. Everywhere. Let the 21st be the century of Snowden, Manning, and more.